April 19, 2019

Barack Obama’s Euro-Train-Envy

The president of the United States wants Americans riding trains.  And like so many other aspects of the president’s ideas for what would make the USA a utopia, we continue to get more spending on leftist ideology forced upon us — like it, want it, or not.

At a speech earlier this year in Miami, President Obama again made the pitch for “improving the nation’s infrastructure,” including spending hundreds of billions of dollars (that we don’t have) on construction of high-speed rail networks.  He again touted his plan for developing a “national infrastructure bank” (yet another federal bureaucracy) and capitalizing it with $ 10 billion (which he’ll wave into existence with a magic wand).  He would also create “America Fast Forward Bonds” that would help state and local governments attract money for infrastructure projects…like trains.

This vision of a nation crisscrossed by “high-speed rail networks” is clearly one the president is hot for, always has been hot for, and is more than willing to bury our great grandchildren under even more debt to achieve.  But why?  What is it about trains that gets the man so rambunctious?

I’ve coined a term to answer that question; “Euroenvy.”  Our president and the liberal elite in this country have a massive case of it.  From government-sponsored, overseen, and run health care to tiny little matchbox cars that go 50 kilometers on a liter of petrol (and the four-dollar-per-liter price tag that goes along with that petrol), it’s clear that Barack Obama sees Europe — not America — as the model to strive for.  And what do they have connecting the nations of Europe?  Trains.

Euro-train-envy was never more prominently displayed than in one Obama’s earliest first-term failures, when the International Olympic Committee snubbed Chicago in the first round of choosing a venue.  In a press conference the following day, Obama was asked why he failed.  In the midst of comparing America to others in the hunt for the games, the president snidely stated, “We don’t even have a high-speed train system” — i.e., we’re so far behind Europe that it’s no wonder we didn’t win.

This fascination with connecting our nation by trains is beyond costly and ridiculous.  In fact, it’s tomfoolery.  It’s yet another overpriced, wholly illogical push to “green” the planet — to get us out of cars and packed into mass transit in order to halt the ocean’s rise.  Problem is, its fool’s gold.

Problem #1: You still need cars

With planes, you need a friend or taxi to drop you off at the airport, then another pick you up on the other end.  Same is true of trains.  Unless the train station is walking distance from your home and walking distance to your place of employment or destination on the other end of the line, you now need not one automobile, but two, plus the train in the middle.

Problem #2: Trains stop along the way

Unlike with commercial flights, which can be had direct, a lengthy trip on a train is going to include periodic stops along the route, oftentimes negating the impact of its “high-speed” capabilities.

Included in the $ 787-billion “stimulus” package signed into law in 2009 was a $ 4-billion appropriation for a high-speed rail system called ”
American Thinker